...for those who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28b
A motorcycle accident. Two young people are scratched and bruised, but otherwise unharmed.
The family offers praises, "We have been kissed by God."
A Facebook post. An attempt is made to answer the rantings of those who would question God's goodness, or even His existence, because of evil in the world.
God is merciful, it says, in explanation of why the wicked are not immediately consumed.
But does God have no control over these things other than to sometimes mercifully intervene?
Does evil simply exist, out from under His sovereign rule?
If that is true, how is He able at all to work for the good?
And so, the doctrine of the "Gentleman God" has been proposed.
God is such a nice God, to put it simply, that he is willing to relinquish control so that sinners may agree to be saved and the wicked proceed on their merry way to hell (or something to that effect).
Does this sound contradictory? Does this make sense? Or does this fly in the face of what we read in scripture (God's revealing of Himself to us)?
"I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create disaster, I am the LORD who does all these things (Isaiah 45:7).
"...he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, 'What have you done?' (Daniel 4:35)."
It comes down to this: how big is your God?
Is He big enough that we may trust Him even in the worst of circumstances?
Big enough that we will bow in faith, even in the midst of sorrow?
Big enough that we acknowledge His sovereignty without understanding His sovereign purpose in the things He decrees and ordains?
This must be so, this all-ruling (omnipotent) God.
How else could we believe the promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you?"
Or grasp the statement, "...you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good?"
We must believe in a sovereign God who has all things in His hand and works all events to His eternal, glorious purpose.
Like Job, I may not always get it.
Like Job, I may sometimes complain (and then repent and beg forgiveness).
But there is this:
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)"